Edmonton Bracing Services: Support Your Muscles and Tendons
REP Physio in Edmonton is proud to provide our clients both custom and non-custom, or “off the shelf” braces for a variety of injuries and conditions.
At REP Physio, our number one goal is to maximize your recovery, and provide you with a patient-centered, active approach to care. Sometimes, this care plan can benefit from a brace, as the right brace can improve function and minimize pain.
Braces available at REP Physio
Whether our clients require braces, splints, wraps or sleeves, at REP Physio we will ensure you get the right brace for your needs to help maximize your recovery and function. REP Physio is an official distributor of DonJoy braces. We also carry many other varieties of braces for knees, ankles, hips, elbows and wrists.
The difference between braces, sleeves, splints, and wraps
We are often asked what the difference is between braces, sleeves, splints and wraps.
Sleeves, whether they are for elbows, knees, wrists, or ankles, are made out of elastic material and can provide light compression for stability and minor swelling while allowing full range of motion. They do not contain plastic or metal supports, so they fit easily under clothing. Sleeves are just as they are described, they go on like a sleeve and should provide a snug, comfortable fit.
Braces can also be referred to as a “wrap brace”. A wrap brace serves a similar purpose and is made of the same materials as a sleeve. The difference between a sleeve and wrap is that a wrap brace is wrapped on by straps and/or velcro, allowing for a little more adjustability compared to a sleeve.
Splints typically refer to a brace that limits range of motion and/or supports ligamentous disruption. This type of brace typically includes a mix of both soft and hard (plastic, plaster, rubber, carbon fibre) materials, and is usually used for the rehabilitation of more serious injuries such as broken bones, severe sprains and post-surgical recovery.
Common injuries requiring bracing
REP Physio in Edmonton has helped thousands of Edmontonians recover from a variety of injuries. We have over 50+ years of clinical expertise helping clients of all ages with joint, limb and soft tissue injuries.Fortunately, the majority of our clients do not require braces, splints, sleeves or wraps for recovery, but when they do, our expert clinicians can help guide you in making the most informed brace choice for your body’s unique needs and tissue demands.
Most commonly, REP Physio provides Edmontonians with bracing advice and guidance for soft-tissue, ligament and bone injuries to the elbow, knee, wrist and ankle. Whether it is a brace for a soft tissue sprain or strain, a post-operative custom knee brace, bracing for knee osteoarthritis, a walking boot post fracture, or something to help with joint instability, REP Physio has you covered.
Common knee injuries requiring bracing
Our expert physiotherapists treat a wide variety of knee injuries. Some common causes of knee pain that may benefit from a brace include:
Repetitive strain injuries
Jumper’s knee, patellar tendinosis, patellar tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain syndrome or runner’s knee (inflammation around the kneecap or patella), Hoffa’s fat pad injury and many others. In cases such as these, the use of a brace, wrap, sleeve or even k-tape in combination with a client-centered active care plan can help improve recovery.
Traumatic knee ligament injuries
Injuries to the ACL and MCL are most common. They are typically seen with athletes engaged in contact and team sports, as well as downhill skiing and bad falls. REP Physio provides a variety of brace options for mild to complete ligament tears of the knee. We also provide braces for those looking to return to sport following surgical repair of these ligaments, including sport-specific braces designed to fit around the equipment requirements of your sport.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) braces
Oftentimes, the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis can be improved with the help of a knee brace. This can be as simple as a sleeve or a wrap fitted to the size of your knee circumference to keep the knee joint warm all the way to a custom knee brace designed to off-load specific sides of the knee joint where the arthritis or meniscus derangement is most prominent. However, the foundation of the management of the pain and dysfunction associated with arthritis should always begin with a physiotherapy assessment and care plan that addresses exercise and modifiable lifestyle factors such as weight-loss.
The benefits of knee braces
Different knee injuries typically require different types of knee braces, splints, wraps and/or sleeves. The purpose of a knee brace is to provide additional support and stability, and/or off-load an injured knee structure such as a meniscus or a specific side of the knee joint. Knee braces come in a variety of materials and levels of support. Typically, our soft knee braces for minor injuries are made out of a Drytex or Neoprene material. They may be hinged or non-hinged depending on the support required. An example of this type of brace would be the DonJoy Playmaker or DonJoy Patellar Stabilizer These types of braces can provide excellent support for both the ligament and patella and allow you to remain more active while you recover.
For our clients with more complex injuries, or those that have had knee surgery or are engaged in high-level sporting activity, we will typically recommend a custom or a non-custom knee brace from DonJoy. This would typically include either a DonJoy Armor or DonJoy Defiance III. These braces are made from aluminium and/or carbon fibre and have a variety of strapping and hinge options specific to your injury to provide the ultimate level of protection. The difference between a custom and non custom brace is two-fold.
The first is sizing. Custom knee braces are measured to the exact size of your knee. Non-custom braces come in a variety of sizes, and are designed to fit typically shaped knees and thighs.
The second difference is cost. Custom braces are typically twice as expensive as non-custom braces, as they are a “one-off” brace that is manufactured specifically for your knee and thigh.
In some cases, post-operative knee injuries, or those requiring conservative management require a knee immobilizer, or range of motion (ROM) limiter type brace. This brace is typically worn early on in your recovery, and only for a limited amount of time. While REP Physio carries these types of braces, such as the Don Joy X-Act ROM lite most clients are provided with this type of brace within a hospital setting.
Common elbow injuries requiring bracing
Elbow injuries account for approximately 60% of our bracing clients. While we see many types of elbow injuries, the most common type of elbow injury we see, and also the most common type of elbow injury requiring a brace or a sleeve is tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis/opathy. This injury is caused by overuse of the muscles and tendons on the outer elbow from repetitive gripping and or lifting.
It does not occur from tennis alone! When this injury occurs, even lifting light objects like a coffee cup can become extremely difficult. Golfer’s elbow is similar to a tennis elbow, but involves the tendons and muscles on the inside of the elbow.
Tennis elbow treatment options
A common injury we treat at REP Physio is "tennis elbow." If you are suffering from elbow pain, take our quiz to see how much you know about causes and treatment options!
The benefits of elbow braces
The use of an elbow brace for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow can prove quite helpful in the recovery from this painful injury. Tennis and golfer’s elbow braces are typically flexible and low profile. They are a soft brace without hinges. They are worn just below the elbow joint, and typically should only be worn when engaged in activities that cause pain to the elbow.
Tennis elbow braces are generally not worn when you are at rest. The benefit of using a tennis elbow brace is that it will limit the amount of load placed on these injured tendons and muscles thereby allowing you to lift heavier objects with less pain. In mild cases, you may benefit from, or prefer wearing a soft, slide on elbow sleeve to provide you with mild compression and light support.
With a patient-centered active care approach, an elbow brace can be a nice compliment to your care plan. Lastly, the overwhelming majority of elbow injuries do not require a custom elbow brace.
Common wrist injuries requiring bracing
Wrist injuries are also a common reason that clients present to REP Physio for bracing advice and physiotherapy management. Most commonly, bracing is recommended for two wrist conditions: de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis and triangular fibrocartilage complex tears (TFCC).
de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
Sometimes referred to as mother’s thumb or mommy thumb, de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is caused by repeated hand and wrist movements, such as lifting a baby in and out of a crib. This can cause a repetitive strain injury accompanied by inflammation to the tendons and their sheaths of the back of the thumb.
This can lead to pain and tenderness around the thumb and painful thumb range of motion. By limiting range of motion and minimizing the strain on the affected thumb tendons, a de Quervain’s tenosynovitis brace can be a great adjunctive treatment to physiotherapy and help lead to better clinical outcomes.
Your physiotherapist at REP Physio can help you determine if a de Quervain’s brace is a good adjunct to your plan of physiotherapy care.
Damage to the ligament on the pinky finger or ulnar side of the wrist can cause significant wrist instability and pain.
Damage to the TFCC is typically due to a fall on an outstretched hand and/or from hyper rotation to the wrist, such as being overtorqued by a hand held drill. As a primary stabilizer of the wrist joint, injury to the TFCC can lead to substantial pain and instability. Fortunately, REP Physio provides braces for TFCC injuries that can help stabilize the wrist joint, minimize pain, and in combination with a physiotherapy plan unique to your needs, improve clinical outcomes.
At REP Physio in Edmonton, our experienced physiotherapists will diagnose your wrist injury, provide you with a care plan specific to your needs, and educate you as to how a brace for your injury can help improve your function and maintain your quality of life while you recover. Again, if your injury does not require bracing, we will not recommend it.
Common ankle injuries requiring bracing
Ankle sprains, or a “rolled ankle” or “inversion injury” are the most common type of ankle injury we see at REP Physio.
Ankle sprains are often quite painful and can be accompanied by significant bruising and swelling. Rarely, this type of injury can also cause a fracture to the ankle and/or foot bones. At REP Physio in Edmonton, our expert physiotherapists will use an evidence based approach in the diagnosis of your ankle injury, including determining whether your injury is appropriate for X-ray or bracing.
In the case of a severe ankle sprain, it is becoming increasingly common to “boot” the foot and limit range of motion in braces such as the DonJoy AirSelect Short. This is typically done for approximately 2-4 weeks to allow the ligament to heal and minimize swelling.
Following this, physiotherapy will help improve your strength and range of motion to maximize your recovery. In the case where there is significant ankle instability post-injury, you may be a candidate for an ankle stabilizing brace. This can include a simple ankle sleeve to provide compression and proprioceptive feedback. It can also include an ankle brace or sleeve that comes with laces, velcro and/or plastic supports to provide additional compression and stability.
Although an ankle brace can provide additional support for your ankle, the foundation of your recovery program should begin with a thorough assessment and an active, client-centered care approach developed in collaboration with REP Physio’s expert care staff.
Book your bracing appointment at REP Physio
A brace consultation takes approximately 30 minutes or less, and there is no fee associated with this service. A fitting for a custom brace typically takes about 30 minutes, and approximately two weeks to manufacture. Most braces can be ordered within 5 business days.
Please contact your extended health care providers to determine your brace coverage. If you have questions about bracing, please contact us at REP Physio at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com
Yes! In some cases, following a traumatic injury, the given joint is casted or immobilized for 6 weeks or longer. Coming out of a cast, the affected joint can be quite stiff. In some cases, manual therapy and exercise alone are not enough to restore joint mobility to a pre-injury level. In this case a brace is required to help restore range of motion.
At REP Physio, we work with a local provider of the Joint Active System or JAS splint. This device is used in the comfort of your own home and can greatly improve recovery, restoring your stiff joint to at, or near its pre-injury level. This type of brace is rented to our clients on a monthly basis.
Oftentimes, a brace is not necessarily needed and you may get better results with physiotherapy management and exercise alone. REP Physio offers free no obligation brace consults. If you’re not a brace candidate, we’ll tell you.
If we cannot get you the brace you need, we will often refer out as we only want the best possible outcomes for all our clients. No high-pressure sales here, just the best possible care to help you move, perform and live better.
REP Physio is proud to carry the full line of DonJoy braces and supports. Whether you are recovering from an acute injury, are post-surgical, have a chronic injury, or are looking for pain relief while staying active – a brace can significantly help you move and perform better.
We carry both custom and non-custom braces for most types of sport injuries, musculoskeletal dysfunction, and body areas (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, knee, ankle, foot, etc.). DonJoy has been making braces for decades. DonJoy has a proven track record, uses only the highest quality materials and come with an excellent warranty. They are manufactured in the USA.
Many health care plans cover the costs (or a portion of) a custom or non-custom brace. Usually, they will require a letter stating what the brace materials are and what the brace will be used for (i.e. medically necessary for work or sport).
REP Physio does not direct bill brace costs to extended health care providers or plans. For those with work-related injuries, WCB will cover some costs of certain types of braces. Custom knee braces typically range from $1400-$1500. Non-custom metal knee braces are approximately $500-$800. Elbow and wrist braces are typically $50 or less. Soft material knee and ankle braces range from approximately $50-$250.